Eusebius of Caesarea is one of the founders of Christian theology. He made a huge contribution to the development of Christian history and became the author of great works that formed the basis of Christian doctrine.
Both the place and date of birth of Eusebius of Caesarea can only be determined approximately. Most likely, this event took place in Caesarea of Palestine approximately in 260 AD. The name of his teacher has been preserved; he was Presbyter Pamphilus, who gave his ward a good education. He was directly involved in the formation of the Christian library of his teacher and gradually turned into an archivist - a researcher who painstakingly studied the works that ancient Greek historians, Roman philosophers, and witnesses of apostolic times left behind. As a sign of gratitude to his teacher, Eusebius attributed the name of his mentor to his own.
The beginning of the third century was terrible for all followers of Christian doctrine. Emperor Diocletian set as his goal to revive pagan beliefs and organized the persecution of Christians throughout the Romanprovinces. Fleeing from the persecutors, the disciple of Pamphilus traveled to all the nooks and crannies of the empire. Later, the wanderings were regarded by the opponents of the theologian as an evasion from the trials from which Eusebius of Caesarea fled.
The chronicle of his wanderings covers a long period of time. In his travels, the theologian visited Egypt, Phoenicia, Palestine, saw how cruelly the authorities cracked down on Christians. From 307 to 309 he was in prison with his teacher, survived the death of Pamphilus and, in the end, was released. In 311, Tire of Phoenicia, the capital of the province of the same name, became his place of residence. There he met the local Bishop Peacock and was ordained a bishop in 313.
All this time, the future bishop was selecting and sorting materials for a future book. Eusebius of Caesarea wanted to create a voluminous religious work. "Church History" is the main work of the theologian. The first eight books were written during the period of wanderings and imprisonment. Two more final parts were later completed.
"Church History" is the first attempt to collect Christian traditions into one coherent chronological system. For his work, Eusebius of Caesarea processed the works and extracts of various historians and theologians of an earlier period. The books of his youth played a significant role in this. The library of the friend and teacher Pamphilus provided the researcher with the opportunity to use the works of direct witnesses of the apostolic time. Workbegan from ancient times, which preceded the appearance of Christ, and ended with the modern deeds of Christian society.
The result of many years of hard work was the ten-volume "Church History", which was so important for Christianity that all later theologians used the work of Eusebius to confirm their theories.
Eusebius' other literary works are devoted to apologetics. This is the name of the science that explains faith in terms of rationality. Simultaneously with the "Church History", works were created that later served as the basis for scholasticism and allow for a rational interpretation of the gospel. In the period between 310-315 years. a whole series of books was written confirming the appearance of the messiah and proving the divine origin of Christ. Of these, the “Gospel Evidence”, “Gospel Preparation” have come down to our time, however, only in translations.
Theological writings and the Christian zeal with which Eusebius of Caesarea treated his episcopal mission made him a prominent figure among religious philosophers. His speech delivered on the occasion of the opening of the basilica in Tire was noted by his contemporaries. At their request, Eusebius of Caesarea included this sermon in the tenth volume of the Church History. He was closely acquainted with Arius, whose teaching was later recognized as heresy, but did not share the ideas of Arianism. However, he opposed Arya's excommunication.
At the Council of Antioch in 325, such a position was regarded as a division of heretical teaching. As a result, Eusebius of Caesarea himself abandoned the excommunicated. But the Ecumenical Council of 325 not only annulled the excommunication, now Eusebius returned to the ranks of church leaders and was able to become the ideological leader of one of the three groups into which those present were divided. Eusebius tried to justify Arius, but he failed to do so. Nevertheless, he accepted the canonical interpretation of the gospel, was a direct participant in the discussion of the unified creeds, and introduced the concept of “consubstantial” into church language.
Formation of canons
The controversy surrounding the significance of the Son and his relationship with his father threatened to drag on for centuries. Emperor Constantine intervened in the dispute, who called the bishops to the Council of Nicaea. Perhaps it was there that the basileus was first seen by Eusebius of Caesarea. The chronicles of the meetings, unfortunately, do not allow us to know how the greatest and most educated man of his time met. But there is indirect evidence of such a convergence. In the painting depicting the Council of Nicaea, Eusebius occupied one of the most honorable places - at the right hand of Constantine.
Friendship with the Emperor
Why, at the Ecumenical Council, which numbered about three hundred people, was there no like-minded emperor closer than Eusebius of Caesarea? The Life of Constantine does not answer this question. This book, written by a theologian after the emperor's death, presents us with a biographyByzantine ruler, generously smeared with the oil of Christianity and humility. Perhaps Eusebius saw an opportunity to preach Christianity in a safe environment, because he saw too much suffering and death throughout his life. Thus, Eusebius assured himself, he would serve Christ more than through martyrdom and death.
Meanwhile, historical chronicles tell a completely different story: the emperor was a prudent and cynical ruler who was the first to see the benefits of the new faith and, instead of fighting it, decided to accept Christianity himself. By doing this, Konstantin achieved a decrease in resistance among the poor.
Christian doctrine preaches humility and submission to authority. In addition, the basileus received recognition and honor from the followers of the Christian faith. Thanks to his power and influence, he was able to offer a key position on a complex theological issue, approved the unity of command of God the Father and God the Son.
The authority of Constantine was so great that out of three hundred bishops, only two did not sign the new symbol, which later became one of the most important in the Orthodox Christian rite. Whether Eusebius was among these two, there is no answer.
The literary heritage of Eusebius of Caesarea is studied with interest by historians, theologians, philosophers, and researchers of the Christian religion. His works contain many facts pointing to the life and customs of that distant time. The books of Eusebius are published in many languages of the world and are a separate subject of study of Theosophy.